Usman's Staff Pick: October 20, 2022

POHJASAKKA!!!!! I was trying to think of the last time I was this excited about a reissue. At first I thought it was when Svart Records did PYHÄKOULU. Surprise, both bands are from Finland. But how could I forget... the recent Portland Edition Kings of Punk reissue! Everyone and their mother had been dying for that to be done again. While we are sold out of our copies of Kings of Punk, we just restocked the PYHÄKOULU compilation from Svart. I raved about this compilation when we initially stocked it, and I am excited it is back in print! This time on red vinyl. If you missed it the first time, now is your chance.

I can’t remember how I first heard POHJASAKKA, but it’s a safe bet I first heard em on the Killed By Finnish Hardcore compilation. I remember they quickly became one of my favorite bands, alongside other Finnish greats like TAMPERE SS and MELLAKKA. I don’t know much about POHJASAKKA aside that they were from a town called Rauma, and they shared one member with MELLAKKA (who was also from Rauma) named Pete. He joined MELLAKKA for the second EP on vocal duties. Originally in POHJASAKKA he played bass, but on their second release he’s on the drums. It looks like he’s got song-writing credits on the second record, but I’m not 100% since I don’t speak Finnish haha.

POHJASAKKA really caught my ear initially cos they play pretty straight-forward, raw (in the literal sense) hardcore, but every now and again they throw in this super catchy melodic shit. It really hits the spot for me. On their first record, it’s Sortoa Ja Vihaa. God damn. I don’t think I’d typically like a song like this, but in the midst of the complete EP it just sounds so damn good. On their recently reissued record, Kidutusta Ja Pelkoa, they lean more into those mid-tempo parts than they did on their debut. Now I say reissued “record,” but originally this was only released on cassette. So I think it’s a pretty big deal it’s finally available on vinyl the way it was originally intended. I’m not sure why the record never happened originally… maybe the band broke up? Or maybe they were just broke, haha. This release was actually reissued already almost a decade ago on cassette by Aftermath Tapes. I think they did a great job on the tape, but there is nothing like having it on vinyl. The Finnish Hardcore label did an excellent job with this reissue, as always, and I can’t wait to see what comes next! I think this record deserves a place in every record collection, so grab one while you can. Cheers and thanks for reading!

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